A Life Spent Making the World a Better Place: Margaret (Meg Cloonan)

Meg Cloonan

Margaret (Meg) McCarthy was born in Inverell, and had four siblings – John, Bud, Claire and Gay.

She married Peter Cloonan and moved to Beaudesert in 1959 with their daughter Jenny who was only six weeks old.

She was in a new house in a new town in a new State, leaving her family and support network behind. 

To add to this, Peter was starting a new business, all of which could have been a daunting proposition but Meg didn’t complain, she thrived in her new surroundings. 

They moved into a home in Tubber Street and there she and Peter raised three more children – Kate, Dan and Tim.

Their home was regularly filled with visitors  – some just dropping in; some staying for months. 

Meg insisted on sharing what they had with others and without prejudice.  She was also very community spirited, taking on an impressive number of roles in the local community.  

She was the secretary of the Fire Brigade in Beaudesert for many years and they had a special red phone installed at the home in Tubber Street for Meg to answer calls. 

She was also an inaugural member of the Beaudesert’s Arts and Information Centre and the kindergarten at the end of Birnam Street. 

Meg was always helping out with the debutante balls,  and was also involved with Quota, Apex Ladies, Meals on Wheels, Care and Concern, and was Secretary of the Beaudesert Centenary celebrations.

Meg was very heavily involved in the setting up of Wongaburra and stayed on as their Office Manager for many years. 

Prior to that she worked as the Payroll Clerk / Secretary at Enright’s store and then had  a similar role with Kent, Lyons and Sheil.  

Meg had a strong Christian faith and spent time reading scriptures, attending mass, participating in discussion groups with clergy and parishioners and reflecting on the teachings. 

Meg’s son, Dan described her by saying her heart was her gift to the world. 

“Physically, I think it was bigger than Phar Lap’s and survived numerous attacks dating back more than 25 years,” he said. 

“Even an aortic dissection would not conquer it.  And spiritually, it was infinite – she left a piece of her heart with all those she met.” 

Meg had a huge range of interests.  She loved music, took up painting later in life and within a short space of time, was producing exceptional work.

She enjoyed gardening, especially growing flowers and taught her children the value of nurturing things as well as the importance of the wider environment.

She was a voracious reader, with crime thrillers a favourite.  She, along with Peter, taught her children the value of words, their meanings, and the value of storytelling in helping people understand the world. 

She also passed on the importance of imagination and the pursuit of truth through research to her children.

Meg was also well known for her cooking, sewing (even at Star Gardens she was asked by others to mend things for them) and knitting.

Meg loved to have fun, dressing up for parties and her sense of humour often had friends and family in stitches.

Family was her dearest love, and she was very proud of her children, her in-law children, her grandchildren and the latest addition who turned one in March – her great-grandchild.

Meg Cloonan passed away peacefully on 18 March 2022, aged 90 years.

She touched many hearts and souls and in doing so, made this world a better place

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About Keer Moriarty 397 Articles
Small town newspaper Editor, journo, social media manager and tea lady.